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Which dry food?

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Duggee, Jan 25, 2020.


  1. Duggee

    Duggee PetForums Member

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    Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I have a 14 week old lab puppy who is currently on Wellness Core large breed dry puppy food. She eats it fairly enthusiastically but will often leave some and go back to it later on. I understand this is pretty unusual for labradors?!

    She was sent home from the breeder on Pedigree puppy wet food which she stopped eating on day two and she also developed diarrhoea. We swapped her to Wellness (it was a sudden swap as she wouldn’t even entertain the idea of the Pedigree anymore) but she continued to have diarrhoea so the vet gave her antibiotics and probiotics. Her poos firmed up within 24 hours - happy days! However, Since then her poos, while formed, have been very soft and pretty much impossible to pick up. She’s eating fine (been on wellness for almost five weeks now). She’s been wormed. She’s happy and bouncy... so I wonder if the food is causing her gastrointestinal issues? If so, can anyone recommend a dry food for a Labrador puppy? I have read and researched different manufacturers and am none the wiser. In fact I’m downright confused! I need help please!!
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Are you perhaps feeding too much? That can cause soft poos, and the fact she is leaving some reinforces that suggestion. Guidelines on food packs are just guidelines and often are on the generous side.
     
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  3. Duggee

    Duggee PetForums Member

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    Thanks for your reply. My husband thinks we aren’t overfeeding but I wonder if perhaps you’re right. I’ve weighed out her food for today (less a little bit than the guidelines say) into a bag and given everyone explicit instruction no extra treats unless they come out of that bag! We treat train and the trainer told me not to worry about overfeeding as our puppy is very energetic, but clearly something is awry so I’m happy to try anything. Unfortunately though she’s already had half the toddler’s toast which he threw on the floor where she was waiting :rolleyes:
     
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  4. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Hope cutting back her food a little does the trick. (shame about the toast;))

    Heidi has 75% of her recommended daily amounts across most food types if that’s any help.
    I also increase/decrease Autumn and Spring. I notice she gets hungry as winter approaches and the extra bit doesn’t effect her output until we get to Spring. Then she gets a bit loose and cutting back sorts it.
     
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  5. Duggee

    Duggee PetForums Member

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    That’s interesting, thank you. 75% of the guidelines shows you how different each dog is (or how much the manufacturers want to sell more food!). Puppy was very hungry come lunch time and wolfed down her food without leaving any which seems more like typical Labrador behaviour too!

    Now if I could just persuade her to stop peeing in the house...
     
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  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Your wish is our command :D

    This is my essay on toilet training, maybe you are doing this already but hopefully there will be a tip.or two ...

    Toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so. Ideally you want her to not be in a position where she needs to toilet before you have her outdoors, so that every toilet is outside - as far as possible, there will be accidents! So set her up to succeed by taking her out even more than she needs; for example every 45 minutes to an hour and always after sleeping, eating, playing. The time between a puppy realising they need to toilet, and being unable to hold that toilet, is zero. So your aim is to have her outside before she can't help herself. When she toilets outdoors make a huge fuss (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward her with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't make her come to you for the treat so she is clear that it's for toileting and not for coming to you. The idea is that she wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until she is outside - once she is physically able to control her toileting obviously. As she is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words she can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when she is reliably trained you can use these to tell her when you want her to toilet. If you take her out and she doesn't toilet after five minutes, bring her in but don't take your eyes off her. Any hint of a toilet inside, scoop her up and get her out fast. If she doesn't try to toilet indoors (great!) take her out a second time and repeat until you do get outside toilets. You need the outside toilet to happen SO that you can reward SO that she learns. If she has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed she may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if she needs to toilet - the opposite of what you want. Dogs cant make the distinction between you being annoyed at them TOILETING, as opposed to toileting INDOORS. Take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not having taken her outside in time. Not when she is there though in case you scare her. Then clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract her back to the spot. Indoors if you see her circling or scratching the floor, that can sometimes precede toileting so get her out fast. Overnight she is unlikely to be able to control her toilet as her little bladder and bowel are underdeveloped and not strong enough to hold all night so set your alarm to take her out at least once if not twice during the night. I don't know if you are using them but I don't like puppy pads - they give mixed messages about whether it's ok to toilet indoors and confuse the puppy.
     
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  7. Duggee

    Duggee PetForums Member

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    Fabulous advice, thanks for posting! We had to use puppy pads for the first couple of weeks as her vaccinations were delayed due to being on antibiotics. Because we have a lot of foxes around here (one huge beast in particular who likes to sunbathe on our lawn) we didn’t want to risk letting her outside. To be honest, the puppy pads were hit and miss (literally!) and I’m not sorry to see the back of them, but now she can go outside, i will take her out, she more often than not doesn’t pee, then I let her back in and she does a pee a minute later! We’ve noticed that she will go to the back door if she wants to poo which is brilliant, but she is happy to wee wherever and whenever. Of course on the occasions that she does toilet outside she gets lots of praise and treats and we ignore indoor accidents... I’m sort of hoping she gets it eventually?!

    Nighttime, she will sleep in her crate for 6-7 hours before whining to go out and then she will poo and wee straight away. My husband is sleeping downstairs with her still as we both know that setting an alarm upstairs will not get him out of bed to let her out!
     
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  8. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Patient persistence and as JoanneF says introduce a word when she goes that she can associate. Then you can ask her to toilet when you take her outside. Saves an awful lot of hanging round in the rain.

    If she appeared hungry I wouldn’t cut back anymore. Give it a few days on current quota to see if she settles and output firms. Then you can try increasing her food a bit if necessary and the balance.
     
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  9. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Take her back out a second time within seconds so she gets the opportunity to toilet outside.
     
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